The Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership (TVCRP) have made history as the first in the North to attain Department for Transport’s (DfT) Accreditation Status.
Accreditation is formal recognition by the DfT that a community rail partnership (CRP) operates to a high standard and that its objectives and activities are supported by Government.
Accreditation should provide assurance to others, including potential funders and partners, that the CRP operates to high standards of governance and financial propriety; adopts a collaborative approach; is worthy of trust by others; and is a suitable entity for receiving public funds. Furthermore, Government considers it a good representative of the local community.
The Partnership has been working over the last few months to develop a clear activity action plan that will deliver the Department for Transport’s Community Rail Development strategy, across the Newcastle to Carlisle line, for the benefit of users and communities along the route.
Tyne Valley CRP have been renowned for taking an exciting and innovative approach to attracting new visitors to tourist hotspots along the route. They recently welcomed a Tourism Development Intern into the team, who masterminded the Partnership’s recent Hadrian’s Wall display at Glasgow Central station for Community Rail in the City, as well as gathering tourist information that will shape the future thinking of promotional activity. This post was funded by CrossCountry.
The accreditation initiative was introduced by the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Welsh Government at the start of 2019 and administered by the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP) to confirm a CRPs ability to operate to high standards, prove they adopt a collaborative approach and that they are a representative voice of their community.
Tyne Valley’s accreditation process was supported by Arriva rail operators Northern and CrossCountry.
Commenting on the accreditation, the DfT’s Community Rail Team Leader Kulvinder Bassi said: “I’m delighted with the great work being done by the volunteers at TVCRP. Through their hard work they are really bringing to life their Community Rail Strategy for the benefit of all who use the line.”
CrossCountry’s Stakeholder Liaison Manager, Alex Bray, said “We have always been great supporters of Tyne Valley CRP’s work and their commitment to deliver a plan that reaches out to communities across the line. Becoming accredited will open up more funding opportunities to support the work they do and demonstrate the importance of community rail.”
Marie Addison, Regional Community and Sustainability Manager for Northern, said “Northern are fully supportive of the new Accreditation Scheme for CRP’s which aligns the four pillars of the new Community Rail Strategy and to recognise the importance of Community Rail.”
TVCRP Officer, Fiona Forsythe said ‘We are delighted to have achieved Accreditation, and to be the first CRP on the Northern network to do so. It is recognition of the many, many hours of hard work which our volunteers give to our communities and to promoting the Tyne Valley Line.’
Jools Townsend, chief executive of the Association of Community Rail Partnerships, said: “We’re excited to see the Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership, one of more than 1,000 community rail groups across the country, leading the way as one of the first to be accredited in the UK. This new scheme is a seal of approval that holds up Tyne Valley CRP as a great example of a forward-thinking community rail partnership, promoting sustainable in a way that really enhances, benefits and celebrates this beautiful part of the world.”
Notes for Editors
- TVCRP is a not for profit company, limited by guarantee and was formed in 2004
- More detail on the nature of Community Rail may be found on the Association of Community Rail Partnership’s website https://communityrail.org.uk/about-us/
- Department of Transport’s Community Rail Strategy (Nov 2018) may be accessed at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/756054/connecting-communities-with-the-railways-the-community-rail-development-strategy.pdf
- Attached image, from left Fiona Forsythe TVCRP Officer, Matthew Barrett Tourism Development Intern, Kulvinder Bassi Community Rail Team Leader DfT, Brian Barnsley, Senior Operations Manager ACoRP.